Sports Litigation

Legal Team

Sports Litigation Legal Team

Steve_W_BermanSteve W. Berman, Managing Partner

Steve Berman co-founded Hagens Berman in 1993 and is the firm’s managing partner. He represents consumers, investors and employees in large, complex litigation held in state and federal courts. Berman’s trial experience has earned him significant recognition and led The National Law Journal to name him one of the 100 most powerful lawyers in the nation, and to repeatedly name Hagens Berman one of the top 10 plaintiffs’ firms in the country. Berman was inspired to build a firm that vociferously fought for the rights of those unable to fight for themselves. His innovative approach, tenacious conviction and impeccable track record have earned him an excellent reputation and numerous historic legal victories. He is considered one of the nation’s most successful class-action attorneys.

Steve has spearheaded the firm's commitment to sports litigation, representing current and former student-athletes and other players concerning image rights, concussions and scholarship caps. Steve is lead counsel in a class action seeking to protect NCAA student-athletes in all sports and is lead counsel in a case challenging the NCAA’s collusion in refusing to allow student athletes to receive scholarships amounting to the full cost of attending school. He also pioneered sweeping concussions settlement with U.S. Soccer, bringing safety measures to millions of youth soccer players, and ending heading for U.S. Soccer's youngest and most affected players, diminishing the risk of traumatic brain injuries. Steve also represented current and former student-athletes against the NCAA and Electronic Arts concerning illegal use of college football and basketball players' names and likenesses in video games without permission or consent from the players, resulting in a $60 million settlement. The settlements were reached in 2014, and more than 24,000 student-athletes were found eligible to receive payment under the settlements, with checks up to $7,600, with a median around $1,100. 

Steve has also brought litigation against Major League Baseball on behalf of fans and specators alleging that MLB's commissioner has failed to uphold his duties to enact safety measures against the danger of foul ball and bat injuries through a widespread pattern of negligence, misrepresentations and omissions toward baseball spectators at MLB games. The suit seeks to change current MLB rules and practices, including requiring the MLB to retrofit all existing major league and minor league indoor and outdoor ballparks to extend protective netting from foul pole to foul pole. more »

ROBERT B. CAREY, PARTNER & EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Rob Carey is a member of Hagens Berman's executive committee and leads the firm's Phoenix and Colorado Springs offices. His practice focuses on many areas of complex litigation, including sports litigation, and he routinely handles jury trials for high-value cases. Mr. Carey helped secure a first-ever ($60 million) settlement for collegiate student-athletes (Keller, consolidated with O'Bannon) from Electronic Arts (EA) and the NCAA for the misappropriation of the student-athletes' likenesses and images for the EA college football video game series. This groundbreaking suit went up to the U.S. Supreme Court before a settlement was reached, providing student-athletes—even current ones—with cash recoveries for the use of their likenesses without permission. He has also led numerous jury verdicts in trials, including complex matters, phasing of threshold issues, liability and damages, trials with more than $75 million at stake and recoveries of treble and punitive damages.

His noteworthy cases include Student-Athlete Likeness Litigation against T3 Media, Student-Athlete Likeness Litigation against CBS Sports and Printroom and NCAA Student-Athlete Name and Likeness Licensing Litigation. Mr. Carey also filed a lawsuit on behalf of former Pop Warner football player Donnovan Hill and his mother Crystal Dixon, claiming the league insisted Hill use improper and dangerous tackling techniques which left the now 16-year-old paralyzed from the neck down. He is also involved in the firm's representation of NFL legend Jim Brown in a publicity rights lawsuit alleging that Electronic Arts, Inc. unlawfully used his likeness in its video games without his permission. more »

thumbnail_Leonard_Aragon_Hagens_Berman_AttorneyLEONARD W. ARAGON, PARTNER

Leonard Aragon, a graduate of Stanford Law School and a military veteran, handles various areas of litigation at Hagens Berman, including sports litigation. He was counsel for plaintiffs in the highly publicized cases Keller v. Electronic Arts and In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name and Likeness Licensing Litigation which alleges that video game manufacturer Electronic Arts, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Collegiate Licensing Company used the names, images and likenesses of student athletes in violation of state right of publicity laws and the NCAA´s contractual agreements with the student-athletes. The plaintiffs reached a settlement with EA and the CLC in May for $40 million and reached a settlement in June with the NCAA for $20 million.

His recent successes include a multimillion dollar class-action settlement on behalf of a nationwide class of student-athletes whose images were used on a website affiliated with CBS Interactive without their permission or compensation. He also obtained two jury verdicts in favor of the original developer of the Madden Football video game franchise in phased trial over unpaid royalties. more »

thumbnail_Elizabeth_Fegan_Hagens_Berman_AttorneyELIZABETH A. FEGAN, PARTNER

Beth Fegan's practice focuses on complex commercial class-action cases in the areas of antitrust, consumer protection, sports litigation and product liability. Her notable cases include NCAA Student-Athlete Concussion Litigation and NCAA Student-Athlete Scholarship Cap Antitrust Litigation. She has been at the forefront of the firm's concussion litigation and has been involved in cases against U.S. Soccer, the NFL and the NCAA concerning neglect and concealment of the dangerous long-term health effects of concussions and head trauma. She was part of multi-district litigation against the NCAA for medical monitoring and for injunctive relief in the form of changes to concussion management and return-to-play guidelines. Hagens Berman also has filed lawsuits on behalf of several victims of concussions at NCAA sanctioned universities alleging the institutions neglect to protect student-athletes from concussions and their aftermath, of which Ms. Fegan has also been involved in.

Her antitrust expertise has come into play in the firm's lawsuit against the NCAA on behalf of a highly recruited college quarterback whose scholarship was revoked after a coaching change. The suit claims that the organization’s limits on scholarships violate federal antitrust laws. The 30-page lawsuit alleges that the NCAA’s prohibition of multi-year scholarships and limits on the number and amount of athletic scholarships is an illegal restraint that limits the ability of student-athletes to market their services in a free and open market. more »

DANIEL J. KUROWSKI, PARTNER

Mr. Kurowski is an partner at Hagens Berman's Chicago office and has litigated many aspects of cases throughout the country, often in consolidated multi-district litigation proceedings. His current work with the firm includes a variety of complex cases including contesting a prominent financial company’s deferred annuity sales practices in RICO litigation, including practices negatively impacting senior citizens. He represents student-athletes in antitrust litigation regarding the NCAA’s Division I football scholarship policies and student-athletes in both individual personal injury and class-action litigation pertaining to concussions/traumatic brain injuries suffered during sporting activities, including in In Re National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation (N.D. Ill.). His notable cases also include Silk v. Bowling Green State University, which culminated in $712,500 individual settlement for student-athlete injured as a result of alleged failures to properly manage athlete’s concussions. more »